This chapter will look at some of the specific differences that exist between rivers and canals. The differences between canals and rivers are summarised below:

River:                                               Channel:

Natural waterway                             A constructed waterway (engineering structure)

Running water                                 Still water

Changing water level                      Fixed level

No locks                                          Locks

Usually many bends                        Usually few bends

The above differences are general and do not always apply. The Pannerdens kanaal, for example, has the character of a river. Another example of an exception: a canalised river does have locks.